My research interests fall into the following categories 1) groundwater chemistry,
2) water resources sustainability, and 3) geoscience education.  My groundwater chemistry research focuses on the use of groundwater chemistry as a tool for delineating groundwater flow paths and characterizing surface water-groundwater interactions. I apply a combination of field, laboratory, and modeling techniques to explore the relationships between factors, such as biogeochemistry, mineralogy, stratigraphy, and human activities, all of which influence groundwater chemistry.  Another avenue of my research is sustainability of water resources. I am particularly interested in water use science and developing robust tools for quantifying water use.  I also investigate human perceptions of water availability and evaluate how regulations, such as watering restrictions, influence water consumption.  Additionally I have a strong interest interest in geoscience education and experiential and inquiry-based learning.

Examples of Ongoing Projects

Examining the Relationships Between Socioeconomics and Drinking Water Quality:  Identifying Inequities in Palm Beach County, FL
   Funded by the Walter and Lalita Janke Innovations in Sustainability Science Research Fund 
   Student researcher:  Meagan Weisner (Geosciences Ph.D. candidate)
Hydrologic Monitoring at Loxahatchee Slough Natural Area
   A collaboration with the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resource Management

Hydrologic Monitoring at Pondhawk Natural Area
   Funded by Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resource Management

Development and Application of Methods for Stable Water Isotope Sampling from Low Gradient Canals
   Funded by the U.S. Geological Survey
   Student researcher: Jesse Greathouse (Geosciences M.S. student)

Characterizing the Impact of Evapotranspiration on the Isotopic Composition of Wetlands and Shallow Groundwater
   This project is being conducted by Jessica Montalvo, a Miami-Dade College Summer Research Institute Student

Selected Publications  
Survis, F.D. and Root, T.L., 2017.  The Rain-Watered Lawn:  Informing Effective Lawn Watering Behavior.  Journal of Environmental Management, 199:109-115.

Survis, F.D., Root, T.L., and Pathak, C.S., 2017.  Identifying Seasonal Opportunities to Save Water: Using Weekly Rainfall and Evapotranspiration Patterns to Evaluate Outdoor Water Restriction Policy in South Florida.  Water Conservation Science and Engineering, 2(4):133-143.

Kuhn, T. and Root, T.L., 2012.  Environmental Controls on the Distribution and Vigor of an Endangered Grass (Panicum abscissum Swallen).  Papers of the Applied Geography Conferences, 35:403-411.

Survis, F.D. and Root, T.L., 2012.  Evaluating the Effectiveness of Water Restrictions:  A Case Study From Southeast Florida.  Journal of Environmental Management, 112:377-383.

Root, T. and F. Survis, 2012. Human-Climate-Water Interactions in the Context of Managing Florida's Water SuppliesThe Florida Geographer, 43:4-16.

Berry, L., Bloetscher, F., Hernández Hammer, N., Koch-Rose, M., Mitsova-Boneva, D., Restrepo, J., Root, T., Teegavarapu, R., 2011: Florida Water Management and Adaptation in the Face of Climate Change: A White Paper on Climate Change and Florida's Water Resources, Florida Climate Change Task Force

Root, T., Gotkowitz, M., Bahr, J., and Attig, J., 2010. Arsenic Geochemistry and Hydrostratigraphy in Midwestern U.S. Glacial Deposits.  Ground Water 48:903-912

Lakhan, S., Root, T. and Fadiman, M., 2009.  Household Water in Northern Trinidad: Source, Collection, Storage, and Socioeconomics. The Florida Geographer, 40:48-61 

Root. T.L., 2008. Arsenic Speciation and Form in a Glacial Aquifer in the Midwestern United States. Papers of the Applied Geography Conferences, 31:25-33.

Root, T.L. and E. Carlson, 2007. Water Quality and Hydrology of an Environmental Preserve in Palm Beach County, Florida. Papers of the Applied Geography Conferences, 30:457-465.

Root, T.L., J.M. Bahr, and M.B. Gotkowitz, 2005. Controls on arsenic concentrations in groundwater near Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. In: Advances in Arsenic Research: Integration of Experimental and Observation Studies and Implications for Mitigation. P.A. O’Day, D. Vlassopoulos, X. Meng, and L. Benning. ACS Symposium Series, no. 915, pp. 161-174.


Root, T.L., 2014. Review of Groundwater for the 21st Century: A Primer for Citizens of Planet Earth. Groundwater, 52:647-648.

Root, T.L., 2013. Book Review: Albert C. Hine, Geology History of Florida, Major Events that Formed the Sunshine State.  The Florida Geographer 44, 54-55.

Root, T.L., 2013. Book Review: Robert Brinkmann, Florida Sinkholes, Science and Policy. The Florida Geographer 44, 56.